‘I wish it was me’: Blackpool mum’s heartache as son struggles with terminal cancer – LancsLive

A 19-year-old with terminal cancer continues to defy the odds after being told he would not live to see 2020.

Father-of-one, Alfie Keogh, from Blackpool, was diagnosed with Spindal Cell Synovial Sarcoma, a rare bone and tissue cancer, in August 2019.

The rare cancer started in the 19-year-old’s right calf muscle but quickly spread throughout his body, with doctors telling Alfie that he had just three months to live.

His family were informed that chemotherapy would only be useful to manage the pain and nothing could be done to stop the cancer.

Alfie with his mum Estelle.

That was until Alfie started taking cannabis oil, a treatment which appears to be prolonging his life and providing amazing pain relief.

“I wish it was me,” Alfie’s mum, Estelle Heathcote, 50, told LancsLive.

“I wish it was me and not him that had it, I’ve prayed to god for the pain to be taken away. To just watch him fade away in your arms, it breaks your heart.

“When we got the news that he had three months to live I started researching alternative medicines because, as a mother, you would do anything to save your son.

“That’s when we started using THC cannabis oil.”

Cannabis oil products are not recommended by UK medical professionals because they contain certain levels of THC, the active ingredient found in recreational cannabis.

Alfie with his mum Estelle.

But the oil is used by cancer and epilepsy suffers across the world to reduce symptoms and pain. Estelle believes the oils have had a miraculous effect on her son.

She said: “They help him eat, they help him sleep, they take the pain away. He looks well, to look at him you wouldn’t think he was dying.”

Alfie first experienced extreme pain in his right leg when he was just 10 years old.

Doctors attributed the pain to a number of different ailments including growing pains, a varicose vein and even a calcification.

Estelle said: “You could hear him screaming with pain at night.

“His attendance at school had dropped to below 50 per cent because he was in and out of hospital getting treatment.

“He had to avoid his PE lessons, even though he was a keen golfer and did really well in competitions, he had to give that up.”

Alfie was diagnosed with cancer at 19.

Alfie spent six years receiving treatment for, what the doctor’s believed was, a small legion in his calf.

Throughout this time, no one mentioned that Alfie’s pain could have been caused by cancer, something that still irks Estelle to this day.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?” said Estelle.

“I just wish, when he was a child, that someone had told me that this could have been cancer, because as a parent you blame yourself.”

In August 2019 Alfie’s calf had swollen to an abnormal size and he took another trip to the doctor.

Following various scans and tests, Alfie finally found out why he had experienced so much pain and anguish over the last nine years.

Estelle said: “It was cancer, they had also found tumours in his lungs and spine.

“I just fell to the floor, I couldn’t breathe when I heard the news. I was in complete shock, I’m still shaking just thinking about it.”

But the worse news was saved for Alfie’s visit to Chorley Hospital where he was told that his life expectancy did not exceed the next three months.

He was offered chemo and radiotherapy to help manage the pain. Soon after Alfie started taking cannabis oil and noticed a marked change in his condition.

Alfie receives treatment in hospital.

Estelle said: “Before the oils he couldn’t walk, he was on crutches.

“Then I watched him jump down five concrete steps and land on both legs with no pain. I couldn’t believe it, it was like a miracle.”

The oil was also showing its worth in the doctor’s office when the sarcoma in Alfie’s calf shrunk considerably by November.

Later Alfie  enjoyed another miracle, of a completely different kind, when his ex-partner gave birth to a baby girl. Olivia-Rose Keogh was born on December 17.

But 2020 brought with it a new set of problems.

In January the cancer had spread to Alfie’s pelvis and shoulders and in March he was forced to halt his treatment due to the coronavrius pandemic.

Chemotherapy severely depletes the immune system, increasingly the likelihood of catching COVID-19.

Alfie received two rounds of radiotherapy to alleviate the pain in his pelvis before all other hospital treatment ceased.

But Alfie’s ‘miracle’ cannabis oil still continues to work wonders.

Anna (left) and Alfie (right) with Alfie’s daughter Olivia.

Estelle said: “We are still on the oils and he’s still going strong.

“He was given three months to live in August but he’s still here. I really believe that’s because of the oils.”

Estelle has spent more than £15,000 on cannabis oil for Alfie and is fundraising in order to buy more.

Cannabis oils are not given out as standard treatment in the UK, making them expensive and hard to source.

But Alfie’s family believe they are the only option in prolonging the 19-year-old’s life and giving him acute pain relief.

Anna-Rose Keogh, Alfie’s 27-year-old sister, told LancsLive: “There’s a hope that the oil will help him be comfortable and prolong his life.

“I can’t even imagine how hard it has been for him, the pain he’s in. It’s just completely unfair.”

Alfie is now at home with his mum and sister, receiving end-of-life treatment from Trinity Hospice.

“He’s so kind,” said Anna.

“Alfie has always been a proper family person, it’s been just my mum and Alfie for a long time.

“He was always the one who stayed and wanted to look after mum, he never wanted to leave Blackpool.”

“It’s always been me and him,” Estelle added.

“I have four kids but me and Alfie have always been close, he’s my best friend.”

You can donate to help Alfie purchase more cannabis oil here.

Source: https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/i-wish-me-blackpool-mums-18267842